This year at San Diego Comic-Con a huge announcement was made. Firefly will be made into a video game but not just any video game, an MMORPG. This is big news and proves you can’t stop the signal.
Many questions are already popping up as to what the game will look like let alone the mechanics and game play. With a game that is based off a TV show details are important to keep players interested and replay value up. The whole aspect of the show is find a ship, find a crew, find a job and keep flying. With this in mind I have my own ideas about how the game will probably or should be.
First off is if you ever played Battlestar Galactica online then you might understand this part. In this game you are either the colonists or the cylons flying around and killing each other. You advance through the game by leveling, getting better ships and taking control of zones. Part of this concept might work in Firefly except for the part when it comes to combat. In the show all the ships are transports. The only warships are those of the Alliance and Reavers which most likely will be the enemies of the game. So space combat will be out of the question in my mind. The transporting can be made challenging by having to evade patrols by the Alliance and Reaver raiding parties. Also creating different escape tactics and flying maneuvers will keep players interested. I hope they do not base the travel between locations by real time delays which a lot of games due these days to keep players longer and not finish the game to quickly.
Second is the quests, many games like BSG, TOR and WoW rely on quests such as gathering, killing a certain mob, or escort. These are easy to translate into the verse by doing ferrying missions or evasion quests. This quests will have to be well thought out with different stories to keep players interested. Heists and smuggling will make up the majority of quests. It would be interesting if they made good quests and bad quests to allow for personality development but at this stage it is most likely not going to happen.
The short video released only shows spaceships and no character movement but I suspect there will be some so it will probably be a class structure such as captain, gunslinger, mechanic, doctor, companion, and thief. I hope there will be just as much toon movement and gameplay as much as flying the ship allowing for many different stories and ideas. This also allows for some combat against Reavers and when trying to complete jobs. If they do allow factions this will be interesting to have Browncoats vs Alliance to add to players verses players but also teams.
Next problem I foresee are the different ships and balancing for gameplay. The main ship we see is that of the Firefly class which everyone will want to use because of the show. My question is more on what other ships will there be and their characteristics. Also will toons be able to stroll through the entire ship like on the show? The ability to see every part of the ship just like we do in the show is critical because that is the home of the characters and will allow for quests in of itself to form by breakdowns and fixes, to being captured, to dealing with passengers and cargo. Customization interior and exterior will be a great touch to keep players wanting more and building their ship their way. A large variety of items will have to be available for this to work because games that over very little are frowned upon and deemed cheap.
Finally we get to the time span and the verse itself. We are talking about space with many different worlds. Star Wars The Old Republic game does a good job of transporting from one world to another and also creating zones for levels. This is something that needs to be looked at with great detail because there are so many planets and moons in the verse. Like i said about real time delays is something I hope doesn’t occur because it will get tiring quickly if the quests are short the the majority of time is spent on waiting to the travel to be finished. A way to avoid this if it is real time delay is allowing characters to move within a ship and solve issues such as repairs or passengers to make time pass and seem like a real trip between the planets.
I have grand expectations for this game and really hope it is a success. I have already registered at keepflying.com and recommend you do the same. I love that it will be on iOS and other platforms to allow play from anywhere but this does concern me as far as quality. I don’t care how much it will cost or if there will be in game purchases because this is a game that has potential to be great. I hope Joss Whedon reads this and puts my concerns to rest or bring them up to developers because this is his world they are messing with and the last thing his fans want is for the game to be horrible.